imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Author-Artist-Scientist Laura Cunningham on "Forgotten Landscapes of California"

by R. Plesset Saturday, Mar. 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

For her book, Cunningham spent over 20 years illustrating how California might have looked before the arrival of Europeans. Her artwork often goes back centuries and even millennia (and on a few occasions all the way to the ice age).

Author-Artist-Scient...
stateofchangecunningham3.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2688

In recent weeks Laura Cunningham, author and illustrator of A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California, has been speaking in Southern California. This is a report on her appearance at Environment Now in Santa Monica (February 23).

For her book, Cunningham spent over 20 years illustrating how California might have looked before the arrival of Europeans. Her artwork often goes back centuries and even millennia (and on a few occasions all the way to the ice age*). Cunningham is also a paleontologist and naturalist. In addition to oil paintings, "State of Change" is full of notes, diagrams, and sketches explaining Cunningham's research.

Her interest and curiosity about pre-European California goes back to her early childhood. Living in the East Bay, she wondered what her neighborhood was like centuries earlier. Once Cunningham became a scientist and self-taught painter she was able to take her curiosity to whole new levels.

While researching the book, she studied protected areas but said she also learned from observing abandoned lots and their native grasses. Nineteenth-century art was another source of reference, as was accounts by early Euro-Americans. (One person, Spencer F. Baird, who hunted animals and sent the carcasses to the Smithsonian circa the mid 1800s, reported seeing a dead parrot in a hawk's nest. This account became the basis for a Cunningham painting—a flock of thick-billed parrots flying over an undeveloped, uncorrupted California landscape (the Tehachapi Mountains)-- which she admits is highly speculative. As she noted, how parrots could have gotten into California in the mid-1800s is a mystery. )

In depicting bears (there is a striking painting in her book of a grizzly overlooking the San Fernando Valley), rather than studying out-of-shape ones in zoos, she visited Yellow Stone National Park. She went to other locales as well since other animals, such as wolves, have become very rare in California or completely absent.

Cunningham also consulted indigenous elders and sometimes learned things contrary to what anthropologists and other scientists had stated. She seems to agree with M. Kat Anderson, author of Tending the Wild, about the critical role Native Americans could have in restoring ecosystems. One problem, though, is that indigenous people tend to be more long-term in their approaches, whereas the Federal Government tends to think in terms of months rather than centuries. Nevertheless, she is aware of cases where the government was swayed toward the long-term. This gives her hope for the future.

She also believes individuals can help in restoration and conservation by learning about the particular habitat they live in as well as its long-term history and act accordingly.

Her initial manuscript for "A State of Change" was quite long (she gestured about six inches with her fingers), but the publisher said the book needed to be shorter. Thus, she had to omit much of her work concerning deserts. (She herself lives in the Mojave Desert.) It is her hope that there will be a second volume of this book.

The publisher also wanted to truncate her studies of native grasses, but Cunningham, recognizing widespread interest in his area, strongly advocated leaving it intact. Fortunately, she prevailed.

During a q&a that followed her slide show, there was much talk of solar farms in deserts and their enormous potential to harm ecosystems. It was suggested that she might illustrate such areas--but project into the future rather than the past—to demonstrate this threat. Cunningham has already lobbied in Washington, D.C. for smarter implementation of solar power.

Also, during the discussion, the author/artist/scientist emphasized the significance of landscape renderings and studies by contemporary artists. In the future, this art might help people understand nature in our time. Such art may someday even adorn museums, she suggested.

Cunningham mentioned the possibility of a traveling exhibit of her art, noting that her paintings could fill up quite a bit of space.

Her upcoming appearances can be found here: http://www.a-state-of-change.com/Classes.html and here: http://www.heydaybooks.com/.




-----

*She is currently doing additional illustrations of California in the ice age.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


The San Fernando Valley before

by R. Plesset Saturday, Mar. 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

The San Fernando Val...
stateofchangesan-fernando-valley-griz-lo.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x297

The San Fernando Valley, not too long ago with a grizzly bear not very far up in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

(Another local scene by Cunningham (not pictured here) is of an area of San Bernardino with 15-foot-tall sun flowers. These plants were thought to be extinct since 1937, but recently some were found near LA. In State of Change, this awe-inspiring paining is juxtaposed with a freeway on-ramp in San Bernardino.)

This artwork is copyright 2010 by Laura Cunningham and has been used with permission.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


The San Fernando Valley today

by R. Plesset Saturday, Mar. 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

The San Fernando Val...
stateofchangetoday-san-fernando.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x212

This artwork is copyright 2010 by Laura Cunningham and has been used with permission.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Segregation in the City of Angels: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A. A15 7:44PM

Justice Dept. seeking info, IDs on 1.3M visitors to protest website DisruptJ20.org A15 1:04PM

San Francisco Rally Protests Hate Crimes in Charlottesville A14 5:38PM

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites A02 1:52PM

Tracking Twenty Years of Stockton Killings by Law Enforcement A02 1:27PM

Garcetti Cronyism - Why and How to Ignore Your LA Dog License A01 5:05PM

Nation's Worst Meltdown Was In LA J31 4:54PM

As RV towing resumes in LA, officials say program won't 'target homeless' J31 1:15PM

Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack J21 10:18AM

Limits to Growth Published Forty Years Ago J18 5:15AM

KPFK's Indy Media on Air Now on Wednesdays J25 9:13AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Stand Against Reem's. Stand Against hate. Stand Against Violence N22 11:10AM

Anarchie ou barbarie N22 2:07AM

The Driving Force of Global Inequality N21 6:27AM

Jewish Voice for Peace's Shocking attack on Latina activist N20 10:50PM

Fbi's dangerous threats N20 11:28AM

Report Back on November 18th Counter Demonstration Against Anti-Muslim March N20 10:57AM

Report Back on November 18th Counter Demonstration Against Anti-Muslim March N19 7:12PM

Ni patrie, ni frontière, ni nation, ni région N19 7:17AM

Statement on the Trump Visit to the Philippines N18 7:45PM

Capitalisation de l'egogestion egogérée N18 5:30AM

Three reading samples on George Orwell's "1984" N17 3:55AM

Syllogomanie N17 12:28AM

The Shortwave Report 11/17/17 Listen Globally! N16 5:05PM

Paraphysique de la collaboration N15 10:11PM

October 2017 Honduras Coup Update N15 9:23PM

National US Gov as wellas EPA slow to act on Abandoned uranium Mines Cleanup in Southwest N15 10:50AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Comedy Fundraiser N14 10:47AM

Republicans against the Poor and the Sick N14 4:16AM

Paraphysique du conformisme N13 11:25PM

Global Warming / Climate Change has Become a New Religion - What's it all About? N13 11:20AM

Crétinisme et jobarderie psychophysiologiques N13 8:21AM

Crétinisme et jobarderie psychophysiologiques N12 10:08PM

"The Public Trust Doctrine," Wealth Inequality, and Iraq N11 12:08PM

Anthologie de la subversion carabinée N11 1:20AM

US Executions Violate The 14th, 8th, and 1st Amendments To The Constitution N10 10:51PM

BUSTED: Watch LAPD cops plant drugs in black suspect’s wallet – unaware body cams were on N10 5:32PM

FBI suppressed exculpatory evidence in Leonard Peltier's trial N09 5:16PM

The Shortwave Report 11/10/17 Listen Globally! N09 4:19PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy